Saturday, 26 April 2014

Sleeping Arrangements

The blank slate:

So, I wanted to design a bed that could fold up against the back wall, to allow for full loading of the van if required (i.e. not have to stack anything ontop of the bed space).

So I turned the van itself, and my surrounding parking space into my own little workshop! 

First snag: - however, I could not build a bed the whole length of the loading area (I knew I'd need a bit to fold out into the area behind the drivers seat) due to two reasons, the first being the curved nature of the side of the van meaning that the back end of the van would not fold away behind the doors, and the second reason being the hinges that open with the door folded back in the way of where the bed would fold up, therefore I had create a dual hinge system that would fold forwards into the drivers area, and backwards into the last foot of the van, around the hinge area.

Piano hinges used to fold the extra sections away

Bed nicely folded away out of the way

The legs:

For the legs of the bed, I came up with the idea of using poles connected to the base of the bed that could easily slide in and out for ease of building/storing the bed.
I used wardrobe rails and fittings as below:

The snag with these legs is that the fixtures I used don't hold the legs down horizontally, there is a degree of lateral flex, however, when I store boxes underneath the bed, it removes the need for these legs anyway! 
I'm now thinking of changing this design to a boot camper style that slips in the front part of the loading area and folds out, but that's for a later improvement.

The mattress:

I got a custom sized piece of foam and just wrapped a sheet around it (for the time being) that fits along the length of the bed.

Note to self: don't use a twig-coloured pencil - I kept losing it on the grass by my van!

Can you spot the pencil?!

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